The evolution of SEO

Sascha Surbach, Manager of Epson’s EMEA E-Marketing team, looks at how search engine optimisation (SEO) can help make your business grow.

The evolution of SEO

The SEO evolution

Sascha Surbach, Manager of Epson’s EMEA E-Marketing team, looks at how search engine optimisation (SEO) can help make your business grow. 

Gone are the days when offline and online marketing were separate pursuits, today they are truly co-dependent. The public view of your company offline can dramatically affect how it is perceived online, and conversely the things about your company that can be found online will affect your brand and the impact of your offline marketing. Digital marketing has the power to influence customers and search engine optimisation (SEO) sits at the heart of realising the benefits of this influence.

In simple terms, SEO refers to the efforts put in by SEO specialists to achieve high-ranking positions for websites in a search engine’s results list. SEO, as part of a marketing strategy, takes into account an array of variables including the search engines used by your target market while browsing the internet, what those search engines base their results on, and how keywords and search terms are utilised by those engines.

Search engine optimisers use this information to decide the best method of approaching website optimisation. For some sites, making it more visible to certain search engines often involves only minor content improvements, while for others it can require a large-scale site rebuild. Modern search engines take into account the structure of your website, as well as the quality of its content. In fact, Google’s algorithms actually take into account the perceived experience a user of your site will have while on it to decide its rank in its results.

Today, the benefits of your website or company name appearing at the top of search engine results list is obvious. The Google-led revolution has made this a key pursuit for all businesses. Websites act very much like the business cards of old; they are an advert for you, your services and your company ethos, and a business without a website can sometimes face the stigma of being seen to be out of touch with today’s business requirements.

Placement and advice

In the past, getting your site to appear in search engine results was easy, provided your only concern was that it simply appeared in a list. Where you were positioned in that list didn’t matter, being on it was the only concern.

This is no longer the case, being at the top of the results list is what businesses work towards. SEO helps drive customers to your website without them feeling like they’re being led to you. They made the first move by searching, your placement high in their results puts you front of mind and lends your business credibility. After all, why would you be so high in the results list if you weren’t one of the top companies to engage with? Where you are ranked changes everything about how your company is perceived online and therefore how you are perceived offline.

To give you a head-start with SEO, here are the three key factors to consider when optimising your site:

  • Keywords and phrases: give each page within the site a focal word or phrase, don’t try to optimise the page for several keywords or phrases at once. Make a list of keywords and phrases you want to use then head to the internet and find an online keyword tool. These will help isolate the words that will help your site get noticed by search engines.
  • Content is king: ensure your site contains unique and well-written copy that focuses on your primary keywords of phrases. Constantly updated content also keeps your site’s digital footprint looking fresh. This is a key requirement for continued relevancy to a search engine.
  • Make it SEO-friendly: try wherever possible to design your website to be constantly optimised. Your web designer must understand that you want to be able to update your site’s SEO-friendly content at every turn. Remember, primary search engine tracker programs hunt and rank based on content, not Flash animations or images.

These three factors aside, arguably the most important point to remember about what SEO can do for your business is that your ranking is affected by how easy your site is to navigate from a user’s point of view. Credibility and high rankings will flow from improving how your company is experienced online: make it easy for your customers to engage with you and the rewards will follow.